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Feminist Scholarship, inspired and fueled by the women's movement, produced the insight that made this book possible: what not so long ago was called the 'human' experience, whether analyzed by history, literature, psychology or whatever, was actually the 'male' experience, one that ignored women and took men for the norm. From this feminist perspective one can dismiss male fiction that purports to be the supremely human story. At the same time, one can show the tyranny of masculine rule and the apparent need men have had to exercise such tyranny. This book will not dispute those readings, nor does it seek to repeat them. Instead, it will ask, what does a work like Beowulf tell about men?From Library Journal:
In the 1970s and 1980s, the women's movement gave rise to a torrent of feminist scholarship that brought new insight into the role that gender played in the writing and interpretation of literature. Now, the men's movement is catching up. Rosen analyzes six standard works of the literary canon-- Beowulf , Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , Hamlet , Paradise Lost , Hard Times , and Sons and Lovers --in terms of how the concept of masculinity has evolved. The key to his discussion is the idea of masculine role stress: a conflict between the masculine ideals and expectations of the time and what men actually experience and how they behave. Out of that tension come new definitions of masculinity. Rosen concludes that there is no such thing as a fixed, essential masculinity, and he also reflects, with a nod to Robert Bly's Iron John , on the needs of men today. For most collections.
- Bryan Aubrey, Fairfield, Ia.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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